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Racing Stripes

By Brandon Griner | December 14, 2017

Do You Know Your Racing Stripes?

Racing Stripes originally called Le Mans stripes, have been around since the early 1950’s.  Their purpose was to help identify them on the field during races. These racing stripes were applied to the Cunningham team’s racecars towards the beginning of 1951. It first appeared with two parallel blue stripes running from front to rear in the center of the white body, they helped spectators follow the cars color combination during races. These were instantly favored from the traditional Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) registered US Racing colors of a white body and blue chassis – dating back to when racecars had their chassis exposed.  In 1964 the Shelby Daytona Coupe would use the converse blue with white stripes and would compete in the 1964 and 1965 24 hours of Le mans. As for bringing it to the streets, the first racing stripes car was the 1965 Ford Mustang GT350 also known as the mustang racing stripes.

                From the 1960s, stripes have sometimes been applied to road cars as well as racing cars. Such cars as the Renault 8 Gordini had stripes fitted as standard. They’re sometimes referred to as “go-faster stripes” on road cars. An alternative style features stripes which wraps around the car sideways instead of running down the center of the vehicle called “bumblebee” stripes. This is not to be confused with the Camaro racing stripes from the transformer’s movie.

In contrast, these stripes were featured exclusively on the Dodge Charger Daytona racecar. Dodge’s named it the “Scat Pack performance package” for its late 60’s early 70’s muscle cars featured with the bumblebee stripe as a signature. Racing stripes dropped a lot in popular interest, and it picked back up in the 90’s. When in 1996, a pair of 8-inch wide stripes were used on the Dodge Viper GTS, starting a comeback for the fashion. They are sometimes referred to as “Viper Stripes”, this helped bring back racing stripe decals for cars. Typically racing stripes are detailed and painted on during the body finishing, this usually draws an extra fee for detailing. Now its becoming more accepted to buy a car with basic paint job and then later get vinyl racing stripes instead.

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